Johan Santana skips winter ball for ‘medically-prescribed rest’

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Johan Santana and the Mets have decided against the rehabbing left-hander pitching in winter ball, with Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reporting that he’ll instead be “entering a long period of medically-prescribed rest that will preclude him from pitching.”

He last pitched in an instructional league game on September 30, but general manager Sandy Alderson described Santana as “feeling very good” and “looking forward to 2012.” And according to the GM the Mets are “optimistic” he’ll be at full speed in time for spring training.

Several setbacks ruined Santana’s plans of returning for some September action this season, but he’s now 13 months removed from shoulder surgery and owed $55 million for the next two seasons. He last pitched for the Mets on September 2, 2010.

Video: Matt Carpenter has a six-game home run streak

Matt Carpenter
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Following his phenomenal performance on Friday, Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter found another page on which to ink his name in the history books. He hit a pair of home runs in the first and second games of the Cardinals-Cubs doubleheader on Saturday, becoming the first player to hit six homers in a single series at Wrigley Field and the 28th MLB player to ever hit a home run in six straight games.

Coming out of the All-Star break, the 32-year-old infielder extended his two-game home run streak with a solo blast off of the Cubs’ Anthony Bass during the series opener on Thursday. He followed that up with three home runs in Friday’s staggering five-run, seven-RBI performance, then teed off another solo homer against Tyler Chatwood in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. Even more remarkable: He didn’t start Game 2, but subbed in for Jose Martinez in the seventh and promptly hit one deep to center field in his first at-bat of the evening.

Entering Sunday’s game, Carpenter is riding a .277/.386/.593 batting line with an NL-best 30 doubles, 25 home runs and 163 OPS+. If he collects another home run during the club’s series finale, he’ll be the first with a seven-game home run streak since former outfielder Kevin Mench did it for the Rangers in 2006. Only three players — Mench (2006), Barry Bonds (2004) and Jim Thome (2002) — carried similar streaks, while the all-time record is currently held by Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long, at eight consecutive games with a home run.